Thursday, May 31, 2018

New job

After 23 years of teaching Social Studies, English, Geography, and other fun stuff, sometimes with various pull-outs blocks for leadership or support and coordination, I'll be out of the classroom next year, for at least one year.

I will be splitting my time between Pro-D Coordination (managing the local teacher Pro-D fund and organizing Pro-D events and conferences) and Curriculum Support for senior Humanities teachers.  The first job I've had for 5 years, but the second one is new for me.  I'm thrilled to start this -- in some ways it looks like the work I've done off the side of my desk for years, but it will also involve some new roles.  Here is the concept map that I used to prepare for the interview:

I would like to focus some of this "Curriculum Coach" time on our early career and new assignment teachers as they grow into their roles, even those who may not have senior courses next year.  I will be available for mentoring, curriculum & resource suggestions, inquiry & assessment design, co-teaching or classroom visits, and whatever else may be of use. I'm also envisioning a new addition ro our mentoring series in our district where we connect early career secondary teachers with experienced teachers in an interactive seminar setting -- something like a carousel with hands-on activities. The one-to-one and small cohort models have worked quite well for the elementary teachers but we have not drawn out the secondary numbers we hoped for. The goal here is to impact the development of a vibrant classroom, purposeful teaching & learning, and authentic assessment.

Of course, the other side of this is that I won't be at D.P. Todd next year, perhaps never again as I imagine landing at a new school or situation when my current seconded assignment ends.  I have been at this school for 15 years -- two-thirds of my career -- and I leave with mixed emotions. As I survey the vast hoard of books, lesson material, artifacts, and remainders of student projects that have accumulated in my classroom over the years, I am reminded, mainly, of the things I love about teaching. About teaching high school Social Studies students in particular.  There have been frustrating parts, too, but I've disposed of that evidence and generally suppress those memories because, hey, when you're in in for the long haul it has to be about the passion and positive stuff, otherwise it is time to get out.  I have been really fortunate to have some special students in the last few years, students who may not have been at the top academically, but really stepped up to conduct meaningful research and find creative ways to express their learning.  That's the group I have enjoyed teaching the most.